A great Amazonian restaurant is near impossible to create. First off, sourcing ingredients with any regularity in the region is done with hands in prayer. Second, where do you put it? Ideally it would be near the source of those exotic fruits and fish, though the entire region is blanketed in poverty. How many could afford to pay prices of a contemporary meal in place such as Iquitos or Tarapoto with regularity? So, if you need to open the restaurant in Lima (or Sao Paulo or Bogota or Caracas or Quito for that matter), how do you get the ingredients there before they rot and at what cost? Somehow, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino has managed to answer all of those questions with his Lima restaurant Amaz.
Schiaffino, whose Malabar is on Restaurant Magazine’s world’s best list and who designed the menus of the Aqua Expeditions luxury river cruises, has been building a network of producers for nearly a decade. Without access to an indigenous community in Loreto that sells him giant river snails or having already helped support sustainable paiche aquaculture, a restaurant like Amaz could not be opened in Lima. Like Alex Atala helping support a black rice farmer at D.O.M., Amaz, as well as Malabar and Aqua Expeditions, are opening a lot of doors. This is just the first step into making Amazonian products accessible. I could go on all day about this place (read more about it in my recent story in the NYTimes). Here’s a look at the restaurant in images:
Avenida La Paz 1079, Miraflores
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.